Well, that’s interesting. Last month, whispers from the rumor mill suggested that PC makers see Intel’s Thunderbolt interface as a replacement for USB 3.0, despite Intel’s assurances that the two technologies are complementary. PC World now reports that HP has chosen USB 3.0 over Thunderbolt for its desktop PCs… at least for now.
The site quotes HP Worldwide Desktop Marketing Manager Xavier Lauwaert as saying, "On the PC side, everybody seems to be content with the expansion of USB 3.0. Do we need to go into more fancy solutions? Not convinced yet." The executive also noted, "We did look at [Thunderbolt]. We’re still looking into it. Haven’t found a value proposition yet."
That’s a rather significant significant development in the USB 3.0 vs. Thunderbolt deathmatch, seeing as HP happens to be the world’s largest PC vendor by shipments. HP is putting its money where its mouth is, too. PC World points out that the company’s freshly released HPE h8 desktop PC can be ordered with SuperSpeed USB ports.
Users who’ve already purchased USB 3.0 devices might cheer the move, but I’m not all that thrilled. Apple clearly favors Thunderbolt, featuring that interface alongside USB 2.0 on both its iMacs and MacBook Pro laptops. If HP goes USB 3.0-only for now, and other PC vendors don’t overwhelmingly pick one side over the other, we could see a fragmented marketplace without a clearly dominant solution—and that’s not great for end users.